Volunteers and Jobseekers Give and Gain

More than 30 jobseekers joined 30 volunteers in a day of learning and skill building at Stamford Bridge in a programme organised by Business in the Community (BITC).

Give & Gain Day is a global celebration of the power and potential of employee volunteering, with BITC organising events up and down the country.

The day began in the Hollins Suite at Stamford Bridge with a series of employability workshops about employability before the jobseekers and volunteers headed across to Eel Brook Common for a mini World Cup organised and run by Chelsea Foundation coaches.

Matt Mead, head of education for the Chelsea Foundation, helped organise the day and believes giving the jobseekers the opportunity to spend time with the volunteers from corporate organisations such as Bupa, Legal & General and Carillion is a priceless opportunity.

He said: 'The day was all about helping these jobseekers discuss and learn work placements, employability and general skills to help move them in to work

'The volunteers came from huge organisations and were here to help inspire and give general feedback to the jobseekers to help them move in to employment.

'The morning session was all about learning before we moved over to the Chelsea Blue Pitch at Eel Brook Common for a mini World Cup involving both the jobseekers and volunteers, which can help them learn about team work and other skills needed for their future jobs.

'Both the Chelsea Foundation and BITC want to help build the confidence of these guys and allowing them to spend time learning from those with industry skills can help in a way traditional learning can't.'

Lauren O'Leary, BITC's Ready for Work manager, who works with the jobseekers on a regular basis, added: 'Give & Gain Day has been running since 2008 and is an opportunity for business volunteers to meet our clients and work on their transferable skills and give them some advice and guidance.

'Many of our clients are coming from disadvantaged backgrounds and we want to help them gain employment and meeting these business volunteers helps them improve the skills needed to get in to work.

'It has been a great day full of fun and engagement and everyone has embraced the opportunity. The football opportunity is a chance for our clients to work on team work and communication in a different setting.

'Chelsea have been great and are involved as they want to look at the bigger picture of unemployment as it is an issue in the community that surrounds the club. They want to help skill people up so they can get back in to work and the Chelsea Foundation have been incredible in making this day happen.

'It is instrumental that Chelsea are involved in a day like this. Sport can make a difference in people's lives and have a lasting impact, while it is a big draw for people to come to Stamford Bridge and helps inspire our clients to get involved.'